20 miles / 32 km Beaver Island, Upper Richardson Lake - Hunter cove, Rangely Lake
Big Beaver Island has 6 sites of which only ours and one other were occupied last night. The other occupants are a canoeing couple who come here every year. We had a nice chat with them.
This morning Upper Richardson Lake is flat as a mill pond. We glided over to the carry which we only managed to find with the help of our GPS.
Once found, it is an easy portage to Mooselookmeguuntic lake
Paddling Mooselookmeguntic Lake was also a synch today. Our neighbours from last night had warned us just how wild the lakes can get without warning. Two minutes after landing at Haines landing the wind got up and white caps formed on the lake. How lucky we are again.
We portaged from Haines Landing up to Oquossoc and the 4 Seasons café and placed the boat under a tree to go and enjoy lunch. At that moment, while I was still carrying the huge Sealline Boundary pack, a guy approaches us and asks if we are doing the NFCT. We are the first people he has met who are doing it. He invites us to stay tonight at his summer house on Rangeley Lake. We are a little hesitant but he insists and it is really an offer we cannot refuse. At this moment he is launching his motor boat and points on our map where we can find his house describing it as the only one with a permanent non-floating dock.
After an excellent vegetarian lunch (4 Seasons café is recommended) and a short shopping stop at the grocery store opposite, we set off to paddle to the dock of our hosts. I misread the map and we spend about 40 minutes paddling back and forth along a line of houses on the lake unable to recognize a fixed dock or his boat.
After a while, our elation from receiving this invitation faded. We felt sorry that we could not meet up with JM again and would disappoint him. He had made an impression on us as a really friendly well-meaning guy. We head off towards Rangeley intending to find a Bed and Breakfast or a motel. At this moment, I realized my map reading error and twenty minutes later we are being warmly welcomed by our new hosts, J and R, a couple a few years older than ourselves.
We are offered a choice of 4 bedrooms and our own private bathroom. Geoff enjoyed a long wallow in a full-length bath.
We were offered drinks and sat relaxing on the dock with view over Rangeley Lake.
This evening our hosts have a dinner invitation with their good friends and neighbours L and J. We felt a bit embarrassed as we are vegetarians and so mentioned this. Our hosts went to extreme trouble to make vegetarian food and we enjoyed the best dinner we have had the entire trip. They made a special effort and produced various salads, a bulgur salad, grilled pineapple and other delicacies and a sweet of éclairs served with locally picked strawberries and ice-cream.
The evening continued with a visit to the Lakeside Park in Rangeley to watch the postponed 4th of July firework display. The weather had been so awful last week the council had postponed the show a week and we benefited from this.
Fireworks at Rangeley
We slept very soundly tonight in our bed with clean cotton sheets in a Rangeley Lake house.
Our hosts were extremely interested in our travels. They paddle themselves, both kayak and now with dog M in a canoe.
Geoff and I are wondering what triggered J into his spontaneous invitation to us to stay the night. We think he was surprised at seeing such an “elderly” couple doing the trail and in particular at the moment he spotted us I still had the huge pack on my back.
Their friends L and J were also excellent hosts .
How marvelous it is to receive this “Rangeley” hospitality.